WORKING AT RINGLING
Workplace information and guidelines for a safe return to campus and continued support for working remotely.
Individuals at High-risk for Severe Illness from COVID-19 as Defined by the CDC
The CDC has identified individuals with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions; please review the above link for the most up-to-date identifications.
Employees in the identified groups should consult the CDC’s extra precautions site and speak with their healthcare provider. Employees in the above groups who cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others during work should consider wearing a mask regularly and speak with their supervisor and healthcare provider.
Supervisors or employees should contact Human Resources to confidentially discuss instances potentially needing an additional accommodation for someone who has identified themselves as being at higher risk for severe illness and therefore unable to work in conditions assigned to them.
Employees who must provide child care due to a school or daycare closure may continue to work remotely for a temporary period, as applicable and available. If telecommuting is not feasible, follow normal procedures to take leave.
Taking Care of a Family Member who has the Symptoms of COVID-19 or has Tested Positive for COVID-19
If you have the responsibility to care for a sick family member, you will be required to quarantine away from campus for a period of time. Please call HR to learn more about the exact requirements for your quarantine period. If you develop symptoms, DO NOT REPORT TO CAMPUS OR WORK. Contact your healthcare provider, your supervisor, and Human Resources for information about current return-to-work protocols and the use of appropriate leave.
If care for your sick family member requires your full attention, you should report your absence to your supervisor and follow normal procedures to take leave.
If you are able to continue working remotely while caring for your family member, discuss with your supervisor the changes to your routine that may be required to complete your work.
Paid time-off if COVID Leave is Exhausted and Remote Work is not Possible
You can make use of any Vacation, Personal, or Sick leave that you still have available in your current use year, or you can ask Human Resources about borrowing from next year’s accrual. You should also talk with your supervisor to see if any new opportunities for telecommuting have come up.
Working Safely on Campus
Faculty, staff, students, and visitors must wear face coverings whenever in public and shared spaces and must wear them anytime they cannot maintain a safe physical distance from others. Because the movements of others within buildings and outdoors during high-traffic times cannot be known or anticipated, which could lead to inadvertent interactions at less than 6 feet of distance, the use of face coverings is required in public and shared spaces. Shared spaces refer to any area with more than one person. Examples include, but are not limited to: Multi-person offices or other spaces when a person is not within a physical barrier, like a cubicle; a private office when a visitor enters; any space in which maintaining physical distancing is difficult, including outdoors in between classes when there are a large number of people moving around campus; places like the Academic Center lobby directly before and after classes; and anywhere in close proximity to others.
All faculty and staff and students will be provided with a reusable, washable cloth face covering. Campus members are also highly encouraged to provide their own face coverings so that they may rotate them for optimal hygiene.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends use of face coverings to protect against the transmission of COVID-19. Research suggests that wearing a covering over the mouth and nose reduces the forward distance traveled by exhaled breath by more than 90 percent. Since COVID-19 spreads largely through droplets in the breath, wearing a face covering, along with physical distancing and frequent hand washing, significantly helps to slow the spread of the virus.
We have assessed our physical spaces to identify maximum capacity with 6-foot physical distancing. Flexible seating has been removed to ensure appropriate density, and, as necessary, permanent seating/stations have been marked as out-of-use. Some common areas may be closed for a period of time.
Permanent physical changes will be made only as a last resort. Furniture has been rearranged to encourage appropriate physical distancing. Signage has been posted to identify room and elevator capacities, line spacing, directional flow where appropriate, and safety protocols.
Occupancy limits for spaces are determined by the ability to maintain 6-foot distancing. Social gatherings should be limited in size in accordance with public health and Ringling College guidelines. Presently, those guidelines call for social gatherings to be limited to 10 or less individuals, with attendees wearing face coverings and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible. Social gatherings are considered to be any informal activity taking place in a space not designed to support physical distancing. Instructional activities, like classes and studios, and other College-sponsored programming that occur in areas intended to support a physically distanced environment are not categorized as social gatherings. We encourage the continued use of email, phone, and Zoom conferencing to limit person-to-person interactions.
Safety Measures Required in Ringling College Academic and Administrative Buildings
Each distinct location on campus requires a different set of safety measures depending on the specific use. Each of the following measures, or a combination of the following measures, may be required or encouraged in each space.
Face coverings are required in public and shared spaces within buildings and where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or not possible, including outdoors in high-traffic areas and times. Shared spaces refer to any area with more than one person. Examples include, but are not limited to: Multi-person offices or other spaces when a person is not within a physical barrier, like a cubicle; a private office when a visitor enters; any space in which maintaining physical distancing is difficult, including outdoors in between classes when there are a large number of people moving around campus; places like the Academic Center lobby directly before and after classes; and anywhere in close proximity to others. The College has provided one reusable cloth face covering to all students, faculty, and staff. Students should bring additional face coverings with them to school so that they are able to rotate coverings each day for optimum hygiene.
Hand sanitation stations have been installed across campus.
6-foot distance markers have been installed for areas likely to experience lines.
Elevator capacities have been reduced and use of face coverings is required in elevators.
Reception and other high-interaction areas have been fitted with physical barriers, like Plexiglas surrounds or sneeze guards.
In-person meetings and interactions are being limited.
Restrictions on the use of certain common areas have been imposed.
Use of kitchens, break rooms, and restrooms have been limited based on size.
Use of shared coffee makers has been discontinued.
Employees are encouraged to eat in areas where physical distancing can take place, such as private offices or outside.
Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols
Enhanced cleaning protocols are already in place. These protocols include increased frequency of sanitation for high-touch areas such as doorknobs and door facings, elevators, restrooms, and furniture surfaces in public spaces. Restrooms have signage closing off use of some stalls/urinals to help maintain appropriate distancing. Water fountains are closed, though bottle refill stations remain available for use.
Sneeze Guards and other Physical Barriers
The College is requiring the use of face coverings when in public or shared spaces, which should reduce the need for physical barriers. However, the College does have the ability to create Plexiglas sneeze guards from materials immediately available when they are deemed appropriate. Facilities has installed some of these sneeze guards in high-traffic offices and areas, such as reception, over the past several weeks. If modifications are desired or a new solution identified, managers should request further assessment by Facilities through submission of a School Dude ticket.
Facilities is managing these needs for the College. Use School Dude to put in a request for sanitizing wipes or disinfectants for your area/office.
Measures to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission through the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
Ringling College is maintaining the HVAC systems according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which includes inspecting and cleaning equipment, making necessary repairs, and changing filters regularly with MERV-rated filters that are appropriate for each system.
Many of the College’s HVAC systems are controlled through Building Automation Systems (BAS). The BAS monitors spaces with sensors to adjust the HVAC systems when the building is occupied to increase the ventilation in these areas.
The College is following relevant recommendations from professional and governmental organizations, including the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As recommended by ASHRAE, all of the College’s HVAC systems have remained active during the pandemic. The air exchange has been upheld in all buildings to maintain indoor air quality.
Dining for Faculty and Staff
The dining facility is open for faculty and staff, though they are asked to refrain from visiting the dining hall until 1:00 PM to help decrease density in the dining facility. The food truck is also available to faculty and staff.
Events and Gatherings
Events and Gatherings
The College is following CDC and state guidelines for gatherings. Social gatherings should be limited in size in accordance with public health and Ringling College guidelines. Rather than constraining event and gathering attendance to a pre-set number, the number of attendees permissible at a College-approved event or gathering will be determined by the capacity, with physical distancing, of the space in which the event or gathering will be held. Students wishing to hold an event or gathering on campus should fill out and submit the Ringling College: In-Person Programming Request Form; faculty and staff should submit their requests via email to the vice president with responsibility for their area. Attendees will be expected to adhere to all College safety protocols, including use of face coverings and maintaining physical distancing. Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue holding regular meetings virtually whenever possible to mitigate risk of spread.
Social gatherings are considered to be any informal activity taking place in a space not designed to support physical distancing. Instructional activities, like classes and studios, and other College-sponsored programming that occur in areas intended to support a physically distanced environment are not categorized as social gatherings. Social gatherings remain limited to 10 individuals, with attendees wearing face coverings and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible.
Safety measures for events and gatherings
The same safety measures that we have in place for general campus activities would be required for events and gatherings: Physical distancing; modified occupancy levels; signage; availability of hand sanitation; face coverings; and others that may be required at the time of the event.
Any advertising or marketing for planned events or gatherings should clearly communicate requirements to participate, including and especially, safety protocols.
Attendees to planned events or gatherings will be notified in advance of requirements to participate. At this time, temperature checks are not required, but attendees will be asked to self-monitor their health status and be encouraged to decline attendance if they have symptoms related to COVID-19.
External use of our facilities, including the Soundstages and Post-production facility?
A date for expanding access to campus facilities has not yet been determined, and may be dependent upon location and type of use.
In general, the safety protocols for the Soundstages and Post-production facility will follow the rules for the Main Campus: occupancy limits are being reconsidered to accommodate physical distancing requirements; signage is being added to address spacing and traffic flow; and additional hand sanitizing stations are being installed. Some modifications may be made to accommodate the unique nature of this industry and needs of the productions.